Power300 HP / 261 LB-FT
Cargo14.3 CU FT
MPG20 CITY / 30 HWY
And that's where the changes end. Underneath the freshened exterior is the same Maxima that was available for 2016. That includes a 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V6 making 300 horsepower and 261 pound-feet of torque mated to a CVT and driving only the front wheels. It's a responsive and rev-happy engine, powerful enough to be entertaining but coarse at lower RPM. The CVT is unobtrusive, keeping revs low and varied in normal driving, and then allowing for near-redline driving in Sport mode. Manual shifting is prompt and the ratios are mostly held, though we did notice a little bit of rev hang-up indicating there was a little ratio massaging happening. The addition of shift paddles would improve the experience ... maybe for the next refresh.
Nissan likes to call the Maxima a "4DSC," an acronym that dates way back in the model's history and stands for "4-Door Sports Car." The powertrain does a solid job in that regard, despite the CVT, but the car's handling lets it down. It corners flatly and feels planted, but the steering is frostbite-level numb and hampered further by significant vagueness off-center. The ride is comfortable and compliant, though. It seems 4DGT would be a better term for the Maxima.
The Maxima is quite nice inside. We drove a Maxima Platinum with the Platinum Reserve Package, and that GT-R leather really is beautiful, especially with the diamond top-stitching. Most parts of the dashboard are wrapped in leather or leatherette, which also makes the car feel high-end. The infotainment isn't top of its class for design or functionality, but it is improved with the now-standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Accommodations are tight up front, though. Your 5-foot-11-inch author's noggin was nigh nudging the headliner with the seat in its lowest position.
Overall, the Maxima is a stylish, luxurious and comfortable large sedan. Style in particular is its strong suit, since primary competitors such as the Impala and Avalon are pretty drab and/or strange looking. But if you're looking for a real 4-Door Sports Car, you'll want to look elsewhere.
Pricing for the 2019 Nissan Maxima, $895 destination included, is as follows:
- Maxima S: $34,845
- Maxima SV: $36,855
- Maxima SL: $39,335
- Maxima SR: $40,425
- Maxima Platinum: $42,335